Line in the Sand

100_0404Stepping forward, taking a stand, making a stand against retreat or surrender

Here I stand; I can do no other. Martin Luther

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

The world is a dangerous place, not because of people who do evil, but because of people who don’t do anything about it. Einstein

    A famous scene in American history portrays Colonel William Travis taking his saber and drawing a line in the sand at the Alamo. Those crossing the line committed to defending the Alamo and to sacrificing their lives to do so. Those who would not cross the line were asking to leave. The line in the sand is a powerful visual image that can be used to really get our attention and make us think about serious commitments.

    Getting things done is usually about commitment. Until we are truly committed to something, more times than not, all we are doing is giving lip service. As long as we are in lip service stage, we are spinning our wheels, generating hot air, and last but not least, kidding ourselves. The cartoon character, Popeye the sailor, is famous for saying, “that all I can stand, I can stands no more.” Sometimes it takes getting fed up to inspire us to do something. We are often guilty of waiting until the last minute, until we are at the end of our rope, or even on the verge of going down for the third time, before we get enough intestinal fortitude to draw our line in the sand. Sometimes it takes something significant, colossal, or even cataclysmic to get committed.

     Who does not have issues with commitment? It challenges all aspects of our life. There are more causes and issues needing our attention and effort than we can keep up with. Issues can be global, national, regional, political and even cultural. Issues can be closer to home; including home and work and friends and family. We may have personal issues, those we are well aware of and those we are trying to ignore. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We may have to see ourselves as our enemy. It takes commitment; perhaps drawing a line in the sand to do something. Without commitment it will not get done.

     We should have things we commit to. If we are not committed to causes outside ourselves, we are not doing our part to make the world better. If we are not committed to personal growth, we will not advance very far in life. Whether personal or global in nature, it takes commitment to move forward. If we do not put time and effort into things that are important, things are not likely to get much better.

Challenge: Those things you are committed to are likely the things you do best. Chances are the things you struggle with, are deficient at, that bug and bother you, are those areas in your life you are not as committed to as you should be. Something is keeping you from having a greater commitment to them. If you are not happy with the results, you must do something different than you have done before to improve the situation.

Wisdom: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King Jr.

Spiritual: (NIV)

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.     2 Kings 6:16

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

What would we be doing and what would we have accomplished if we had no fear in our lives? The Bible tells us over and over again, and in many different ways, that there is no reason for us to allow fear to get in our way. 

We have not because we do not ask. We have not because we do not step forward. God tells us that he will empower us and enable us for great and wonderful things. We have to determine that it is time to draw the line.

Prayer: Help me to understand my issues with commitment. Help me to do a better job of being committed.

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